The decision by President Barack Obama to withdraw the Missile Defense System from Poland and Czech has raised a serious concern among the public in Eastern Europe and foreign policy makers in Washington. President Obama may have taken a businesslike approach to Russia, in order to advance his own agenda of a nuclear free world. However, I believe this will pose some negative effects to America’s relations with East European nations, and also, former Soviet republics like Ukraine and Georgia.
Particularly, Poland and Czech are crown jewelries of US commitment to former communist nations. Both of them are successful case of transition to the market economy and liberal democracy. Some innocent free marketers believe that both are naturally coincided. Empirically, this is not true. On this blog, I have been talking of illiberal capitalism in Russia and China. To the contrary, growing socio-economic disparity has led to the rise of anti-Western cult nationalism in both countries.
Even pro-Western Ukraine has not made sufficient progress in developing transparent political and economic system to bid for EU membership (“Is Ukraine fit for the EU?: The Brussels-brokered loan offer may encourage Kiev to clean up its corrupt gas sector”; Wall Street Journal; August 24, 2009).
Considering these problems associated with the transition to capitalism and democracy, Poland and Czech are vital show cases to demonstrate the success and the victory of Western liberalism. Therefore, I strongly advocate that the United States and key NATO allies like Britain, France, and Germany, demonstrate their willingness to defend Poland and Czech from pressures by autocratic powers. Historically, Poland and Czech are the frontline of Western democracy. It was Adolf Hitler’s aggression to both countries that led to World War Ⅱ.
In view of these concerns, the Foreign Policy Initiative and the Center for European Policy Analysis sent a joint open letter to urge President Obama to make firm commitment to eastern and Central Europe, and not to surrender Russian pressure. Signatories are distinguished foreign policy experts, including Robert Kagan and William Kristol of the FPI, and A. Wess Mitchell of the CEPA.
Actually, Russian hawks are invigorated to hear to hear Obama’s announcement of withdrawal as I told in the post. Also, as Obama hesitate to provoke Russia on Ukraine and Georgia, Russia Today reported as if America were weak. Fouthermore, Iraq War veteran Captain Pete Hegseth regards such challenges as critical threats to global security.
In the open letter, signatories emphasized that Poland and Czech supports the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan despite vehement criticism from anti-American leftists throughout the world. Also, they insist that the plan to build missile defense facilities in both Poland and Czech is a clear message for continual American engagement in New Europe.
People in Prague expressed wholehearted welcome to President Obama when he visited there. Will he betray them through drawing back security assurance to Czech? As I quoted a comment by Nile Gardiner, former policy aid to Lady Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom, isn’t Barack Obama confident in American righteousness? If both questions are true, he is no icon of world peace. Poland and Czech crave for American support. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Never forget this President Obama! Again, read the open letter carefully. We shall defy a Nobel Peace Prize at the expense of Poland and Czech.